Today’s market is more global than ever. Whatever products you manufacture, chances are there’s a global market for them and expansion into that market presents massive growth potential; however, crossing borders, whether close to home or halfway around the world, presents multiple challenges and it’s helpful to know what to expect to avoid surprises, unforeseen costs and/or a delayed product launch.
Working in the local language might not always be necessary, but it’s helpful. Of course, it’s impractical to try and learn a language just to launch a product. By working with a company like UL who has representatives around the world, finding someone who speaks the language is easy, can help things move quickly and shows respect for your new market. In other words, it’s a great way to make a first impression.
Spoken language is one thing, but a country’s or region’s technical language (e.g. certifications and testing requirements) is something else entirely. Even if you have all required testing for your current markets, you might not have everything you need to enter a new country or region. With some countries joining together to help reduce the number of different requirements and marks, this process is becoming easier, but deciding exactly what you need to ensure your product is compliant can seem daunting. UL speaks just about every technical language and our global experts routinely work within the industry to stay aware of all requirements, allowing us to help guide you through the process.
Culture goes hand in hand with language. In some ways, business culture feels similar from place to place thanks in part to the global market, but remaining aware of specific cultural differences is helpful. This can include everything from traditions to presentation styles and showing respect for a given culture goes a long way. For example, you might find that texting is more popular than email when communicating with colleagues in Africa, but that same standard might not hold true in South America.
Every time you cross a border, paperwork is critical. If anything is missing or incorrect, you risk held shipments and big headaches, not to mention a delayed launch. Double checking your documents — including customs documents, safety certifications and test reports — can help prevent avoidable issues. Working closely with your shipping department and freight partners will help ensure that you have everything you need to cross a border and make it to your potential customers as quickly as possible.